Economic development and Aid

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  • Created by: howea017
  • Created on: 11-12-13 16:35

What is development?

Studying development is about measuring how developed one country is compared to other countries, or to the same country in the past. Development measures how economically, socially, culturally or technologically advanced a country is. The two most important ways of measuring development areeconomic development and human development.

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Economic and social measures of development

Economic development is a measure of a countries wealth and how it is generated (for example agriculture is considered less economically advanced then banking).

Social development measures the access the population has to wealth, jobs, education, nutrition, health, leisure and safety - as well as political and cultural freedom. Material elements, such as wealth and nutrition, are described as the standard of living. Health and leisure are often referred to as quality of life.

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Development indicators

There is no single way to calculate the level of development because of the variety of economies, cultures and peoples. Geographers use a series ofdevelopment indicators to compare the development of one region against another. For example:

  1. Health. Do the population have access to medical care? What level of healthcare is available - basic or advanced? Is it free?
  2. Industry. What type of industry dominates? LEDCs focus on primary industries, such as farming, fishing and mining. MEDCs focus on secondary industries, such as manufacturing. The most advanced countries tend to focus more on tertiary or service industries, such as banking and information technology.
  3. Education. Do the population have access to education? Is it free? What level of education is available (ie primary, secondary or further/higher education)?
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The north/south divide

The North South Divide

MEDCs are countries which have a high standard of living and a large GDP. LEDCs are countries with a low standard of living and a much lower GDP.

The map shows the locations of LEDCs and MEDCs. Most of the southern hemisphere is less developed, while countries in the northern hemisphere are more developed.

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Social development indicators

Human development indicators

Development often takes place in an uneven way. A country may have a very high GDP - derived, for example, from the exploitation of rich oil reserves - while segments of the population live in poverty and lack access to basic education, health and decent housing.

Hence the importance of human development indicators, measuring the non-economic aspects of a country's development.

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Different social indicators

Human development indicators include:
Life expectancy - the average age to which a person lives, eg this is 79 in the UK and 48 in Kenya.
Infant mortality rate - counts the number of babies, per 1000 live births, who die under the age of one. This is 5 in the UK and 61 in Kenya.
Poverty - indices count the percentage of people living below the poverty level, or on very small incomes (eg under £1 per day).
Access to basic services - the availability of services necessary for a healthy life, such as clean water and sanitation. There is also things like: Access to health careRisk of diseaseAccess to educationLiteracy rateAccess to technologyMale/female equalityGovernment spending priorities 

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Types of aid

Types of aid

  • Emergency or short-term aid - needed after sudden disasters such as the 2000 Mozambique floods or the 2004 Asian tsunami.
  • Conditional or tied aid - when one country donates money or resources to another (bilateral aid) but with conditions attached. These conditions will often be in the MEDC's favour, eg the controversial Pergau Dam project in Malaysia, where Britain used aid to secure trade deals with Malaysia.
  • Charitable aid - funded by donations from the public through organisations such as OXFAM.
  • Long-term or development aid - involves providing local communities with education and skills for sustainable development, usually through organisations such as Practical Action.
  • Multilateral aid - given through international organisations such as the World Bank rather than by one specific country.
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How development can be effected by aid

Many LEDC's have benidited from international aid, but their developement may also be effected by other factors.


  • New infrastructure projects providing new roads, power scources, clean water and sanitation improve the heath adn well-being of people.
  • Aid used to provide new technology and machinery can result in more jobs, and enable farmers to grow more crops and increase exports. 
  • Small scale projects improve people's quality of life, self-esteem and maintain local culture


  • Countries can become quickly depenednt on the aid of other countries
  • Large capital-insentive may have unforseen, social consequenses.
  • The aid, particulally in the case of large projects, may not benifit the poorest people.
  • Often much foreign aid is bilateral aid, which is tied to joint projects and trade agreements. 
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What exactly is aid?

Aid is when a country or organisation gives reascourses to another counrty. It come in diffrent sizes and shapes. 

  • Money - it might be grants or loans which have to be paid back
  • Goods, food, machienry, technology
  • People with special skills like engineers, teachers etc 

Aid should help countries to devolpe their economies and services and so improves peoples lives

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Tree aid: 
 Tree aid aims to help communities devolpe susainable ways if managing the enviroment and reascourse to improve their lives. They work mainly in the Sahel region of Africa, Mali, Northern Ghana and Ethipoia. It is also a british non government organisation (NGO or charity) 

Social Impacts 
Trees provide food crops, reducing hunger and improving diet and heath (meaning they will live longer) . Increased food gives food secuirty during the dry season. (All year round)  Improved health, means a better education and a better life chances in the future. Communities support each other and share new skills. Villigers become more self reliant (they are taught by others and then teachers others who teach others etc.

Envirmental Impacts
Trees create wind breaks that help to reduce soil erosion of the top soil which holds most of the nutrience. Their shade protects the soil from drying out. Leaf fall adds nutrience to the soil helping to improve it for farming. Farmers are trained to lie rows of stones across contors of the feild to stop run off - increasing soil moisture. Trees planted for feul wood and building so they can plant trees to prepare for the future. It also reduces the spreading/impact of desterification. 

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Economic Impacts

Training in buisness and marketing. It helps to break the cycle of poverty by generatin income for thier tree crops e.g. shea butter, traditional medicinces. It generates an income - a child can pay to go to school - better life/oppertunities. 


7.5 million trees e.g. mango, baobab have been planted - more have regenrated naturally.

450,000 villigers helped 1 million have improved soil and water. £9.5 million has been invested. 

Maringa trees (tree of paradise) are planted. Leaves = full of neutriance/ food scource, rich in vitamins. Trees provide 25% of food during year wen crops are not yet growing. 

It improves lives now and in the future so it is sustainable. 

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This is brilliant! Thank you :)

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